19th Annual Rutgers Film Festival

 The Body Collector

Avi LewisAvi Lewis, Documentary Filmmaker

Thursday, November 1, 7:00 p.m., at AMC
Avi Lewis is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, and activist. He is the co-creator and former host of the Al Jazeera English Television show Fault Lines, an acclaimed weekly documentary series, and former host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s current affairs programs CounterSpin and On the Map. In 2004, Lewis and his wife, journalist and author Naomi Klein, collaborated on The Take—an award-winning documentary that detailed the "recovered factory" movement in Argentina. Lewis also directed the 2015 feature-length documentary This Changes Everything, inspired by Naomi Klein’s book of the same name about capitalism and the climate crisis. Lewis is the strategic director and co-founder of the Leapan organization launched in 2015 to upend society’s collective response to the crises of climate change, inequality, and racism. Avi recently joined Rutgers School of Communication & Information.

 Bye Bye Germany

levine b0e20 Professor Michael G. Levine

Tuesday, October 30, 3:30 p.m., at AMC
Michael G. Levine is a professor in the German Language and Literature Program at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. His research focuses on four major areas: intersections among literary, philosophical and psychoanalytic discourses; Holocaust Studies and the poetics of witnessing; the changing structure of the literary, philosophical, and operatic work in the German nineteenth century; and the legal and political legacies of Nuremberg. He was awarded a 2010 School of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Teaching, and a Camargo Foundation Fellowship for fall of 2011. He is the author of numerous books, including: The Belated Witness: Literature, Testimony, and the Question of Holocaust Survival (2006); and A Weak Messianic Power: Figures of a Time to Come in Benjamin, Derrida and Celan (2013).

lapp benjamin Professor Benjamin Lapp

Wednesday, November 7, 7:30 p.m., at PGT
Benjamin Lapp is a professor at Montclair State University specializing in modern European history and twentieth century Germany. He focuses particularly on the Nazi Third Reich, postwar Germany, modern Jewish History, and the Holocaust. His current research involves the memory of Nazi Genocide in the German Democratic Republic. He is the author of Revolution from the Right: Politics, Class and the Rise of Nazism in Saxony (1997) and the co-editor of Rebirth of a Culture: Jewish Identity and Jewish Writing in Germany and Austria Today (2008).


michal raucher Professor Michal Raucher

Sunday, November 11, 4:00 p.m., at AMC
Michal Raucher an assistant professor of Jewish studies at Rutgers University. Her research lies at the intersection of Israel studies, Jewish ethics, and the anthropology of women in Judaism. As a Fulbright fellow, she conducted ethnographic research on the reproductive ethics of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish women in Israel. Her first book, Birthing Ethics: Reproductive Ethics among Haredi Women in Jerusalem is forthcoming from Indiana University Press.

The Dybbuk

Agnieszka legutkoProfessor Agnieszka Legutko

Thursday, November 8, Noon, at AMC
Agnieszka Legutko is a lecturer in Yiddish in the Department of Germanic Languages at Columbia University. She specializes in modern Yiddish literature, language, and culture; women and gender studies; spirit possession in Judaism; and modern American and European Jewish literature, theater, and film. She is currently completing a manuscript exploring the trope of dybbuk possession in modern Jewish cultures. She is the author of Krakow’s Kazimierz: Town of Partings and Returns, a historical guidebook to the Jewish Quarter of Krakow (in English and Polish 2004, 2009), and her publications have appeared in several journals and essay collections on Yiddish literature and culture.


zerubavel Professor Yael Zerubavel

Sunday, November 4, 7:00 p.m., at AMC
Yael Zerubavel was the founding director of Rutgers’ Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and the founding chair of the Department of Jewish Studies at Rutgers. A professor of Jewish studies and history, she has published and taught extensively in the areas of collective memory, Israeli culture, war and trauma, and symbolic landscapes. Her books include the award-winning Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition (1995) and Desert in the Promised Land, forthcoming this year from Stanford University Press.

Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel

kramer sethSeth Kramer, Film Director

Sunday, November 4, 2:45 p.m., at AMC
New Jersey native Seth Kramer is a producer, writer, and director whose documentary films have covered topics ranging from the Holocaust to the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. His other films include: Resistance: Untold Stories of Jewish Partisans, a film about young Jews who fought back against the Nazis during World War II; and “The Big Dig,” the final episode of the PBS series Great Projects: The Building of America.

kelly tyTy Kelly, Professional Baseball Player

Sunday, November 4, 2:45 p.m., at AMC
Ty Kelly has played ten professional baseball seasons with six organizations, including several years in the Major Leagues with the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, and Toronto Blue Jays. Kelly played third base for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

The Interpreter

Peter SimonischekPeter Simonischek, Lead Actor

Tuesday, October 30, 7:00 p.m., at AMC
Sunday, November 4, 11:45 a.m., at AMC
Peter Simonischek is a critically-acclaimed Austrian actor who has appeared in more than sixty films since 1980. He recently starred in the German film Toni Erdmann (2016), a nominee for Best Foreign Language film at the 2017 Oscars, for which he received the European Film Award for Best Actor.

An Israeli Love Story

wolman dan Dan Wolman, Film Director

Sunday, November 11, 7:30 p.m., at AMC
Dan Wolman is a veteran award-winning Israeli filmmaker whose work has been presented all over the world. He recently received a lifetime achievement award at the Jerusalem International film festival and the Silver Hugo award at the Chicago International Film Festival for unique vision and innovative work. He was also awarded the Arik Einstein prize for his achievements and contribution to Israeli cinema and culture, and the Ophir Life Time Achievement Award by the Israeli Film Academy. His films include The Distance and Foreign Sister, both of which won the Volgin Award for best film at the Jerusalem International Film Festival. Wolman made an appearance at the 2011 Rutgers Jewish Film Festival to speak about his film Gei Oni (Valley of Strength), which opened the festival that year.

The Last Suit / 116 Cameras

zaretsky Dr. Natasha Zaretsky

Thursday, November 8, 7:30 p.m., at AMC
Natasha Zaretsky is currently a senior lecturer at New York University and a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers-Newark. Her recent book, Landscapes of Memory and Impunity (coedited with A.H. Levine) is the first comprehensive volume about the aftermath of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Her current research focuses on post-Soviet Jews in New York, and the role of imagination in a time of precariousness in Cuba. In addition to her writing, she is working on two documentary films about the politics of memory in Argentina and public art in contemporary Cuba.

Muhi: Generally Temporary

peri erez Dr. Erez Peri

Sunday, November 4, 12:15 p.m., at AMC
Erez Peri is a filmmaker and also teaches courses about film at Israel’s Sapir College. His film For the Imperfect Cinema deals with the history of radical struggles in Israel and was distributed underground and screened world-wide. The film was screened in the Humanitarian Forum of Berlin as part of the project Montage Interdit that was dedicated to the Israeli-Palestinian issue in the works of Jean-Luc Goddard. His full-length film The Commandant was produced as an Israeli-German co-production and screened at the Cinema South Festival in 2015.


mandel ruthProfessor Ruth B. Mandel

Thursday, November 1, 4:00 p.m., at AMC
Ruth B. Mandel is director of Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics, a division of Rutgers University dedicated to the study of American politics and government. She is the cofounder of Eagleton's Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). As CAWP’S director from 1971 through 1994, she built the nation’s premier research and education center for the study of women’s changing political roles and status. Currently a CAWP Senior Scholar, Mandel continues to teach and write about leadership, with emphasis on U.S. women's political history, women as political candidates and officeholders, women's political networks, and the "gender gap." The author of numerous publications about women in politics, her In the Running: The New Woman Candidate was the first book-length account of women campaigning for office.

Rescue Bus 300

zonder mosheMoshe Zonder, Screenwriter

Thursday, November 1, 1:15 p.m., at AMC
“Writing about Historical Events: A Panel Discussion”
Sunday, November 11, 2:00 p.m., at AMC
Moshe Zonder was the head writer for Fauda, the enormously successful Israeli television program that became the first Israeli series to be released as a Netflix Original. He has written many other screenplays for film and television, including the documentary film Sabena Hijacking: My Version, shown at the Rutgers Jewish Film Festival in 2016. He began his career as an investigative journalist for Maariv, one of Israel’s leading Hebrew-language daily newspapers. Zonder is the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist at the Bildner Center for fall 2018.

Three Identical Strangers

Allan V. Horwitz Professor Allan V. Horwitz

Sunday, November 4, 5:30 p.m., at AMC
Allan V. Horwitz is Board of Governors Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers. He has studied a variety of aspects of mental health and illness, including the social response to mental illness, family caretaking for dependent populations, the impact of social roles and statuses on mental health, and the social construction of mental disorders. His current work integrates biological and sociological perspectives in distinguishing between normal and dysfunctional types of social behaviors. He has published over 100 articles in the main journals in his field. In addition, he has published several books including: All We Have to Fear: Psychiatry’s Transformation of Normal Anxieties into Mental Disorders (2012); Anxiety: A Short History (2013); and What’s Normal? Reconciling Biology and Culture (2016). His numerous awards and honors include: the Leonard Pearlin Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to the Sociology of Mental Health; the Leo C. Reeder Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to Medical Sociology from the American Sociological Association; and the James Greenley Award for Lifetime Achievements in the Sociology of Mental Health from the Psychiatric Sociology Section of the Society for Social Problems.

Who Will Write Our History?

Roberta GrossmanRoberta Grossman, Film Director

Monday, November 5, 7:30 p.m., at PGT
Roberta Grossman is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with a passion for history and social justice who has written and produced more than forty hours of documentary television. Her films include Above and Beyond and Hava Nagila (The Movie), which were both screened at the Rutgers Jewish Film Festival. She was also the series producer and cowriter of 500 Nations, the eight-hour CBS mini-series on Native Americans, hosted by Kevin Costner.

Samuel D. KassowProfessor Samuel D. Kassow

Sunday, November 11, 3:30 p.m., at AMC
“Writing about Historical Events: A Panel Discussion”
Sunday, November 11, 2:00 p.m., at AMC
Samuel D. Kassow is the Charles H. Northam Professor of History at Trinity College. He has taught and lectured widely around the world, including as a Lady Davis Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University, the Leon I. Mirell Visiting Professor at Harvard, and the Shier Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto. From 2006 until 2013 he was the lead historian for two galleries of the recently opened POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. He has received numerous honors and awards, including being elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research. He is the author of numerous books including: The Distinctive Life of East European Jewry (2003) and Who Will Write Our History: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Secret Ghetto Archive (2007), upon which the documentary film Who Will Write our History? is based. The book, which has been translated into eight languages, earned the Orbis Prizeand was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. A child of Holocaust survivors, Professor Kassow was born in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany.